Name those responsible for Hep C infections at SGH
Staff confidentiality has no part to play when there is a serious breach of patient care
No the above did not appear in TRE or TOC or any other anti-PAP blog. It appeared in the constructive, nation-building ST and was written by its long-time health reporter, a usually reliable ally of MoH. She was ranting like any cybernut rat from TRELand, The findings should have gone a long way towards restoring the badly dented reputation of SGH, which describes itself on its website as “Singapore’s flagship tertiary hospital with a history and tradition of medical excellence spanning two centuries”.
Instead, all we were told this week was that disciplinary action has been taken against 16 (unidentified) senior-level people, and that the action included “warnings, stern warnings and financial penalties”.
The public had expected transparency and accountability*.
Well the TRE rats would agree with her.
What she’s missing is that where there is a systems failure where no-one person or group persons are primarily responsible, in management or organisation theory, it’s wrong to name and shame all of them publicly. This is especially true in the age of social media. The cybermob can bully and intimidate. Is this what a responsible reporter and the nation-building ST want? Cybermobs running riot in cyberspace, bullying and intimidating.
Coming back to mgt theory, the CEO of SGH is the one that has to accept public responsibility for the failure of procedures that resulted deaths and someone at MoH has to accept the responsibility of not informing the minister earlier.
The reporter and ST should have asked for a Japanese style apology from the CEO of SGH and the senior MoH officer responsible for the delay in reporting the problem. GCT was keen to stress Jap values so long as they didn’t apply to the PAP administration; Khaw when it applied to the WP.
Where’s GCT’s and Khaw’s Jap style of responsibility from the head of SGH and the senior official in MoH**?
Actually is this the kind of Jap behaviour the PAP administration prefers? CEO takes cover.
Coming back to the ST article, could the call for the naming and shaming of staff be a smoke screen to avoid the real issue of who should take responsibility for the deaths, and the late reporting of the problem? Is it to avoid the CEO of SGH being made to accept public responsibility for the failure of procedures that resulted deaths? Is it to protect someone at MoH who would have otherwise had to accept the responsibility of not informing the minister earlier?
What do you think?
“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.”― G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown
In this story, Father Brown, an amateur detective, deducted that a commanding officer hid his murder of a fellow-officer by sending his soldiers into battle in the area where the body lay. The dead bodies of the soldiers “covered up” the murder.
Is ST and the reporter growing a forest to help their ally, the PAP administration, avoid the issue of mgt responsibility for the deaths and the late reporting?
What do you think?
*But it does not tell us who these people were, how they were at fault, and what disciplinary action has been taken against each of them.
When asked for details, the MOH spokesman said: “Adhering to staff and patient confidentiality norms, we would like to assure the public that the staff who were involved in the incident have been disciplined accordingly.
“The disciplinary actions were decided based on the specific roles, responsibilities and job nature of the officers, as well as the nature of the incident and the impact of their actions in this episode.”
Sounding like one of those anti_PAP warriors she cont’d
Patient confidentiality, one can understand. But staff confidentiality?
The public had expected transparency and accountability.
Instead, what it got was roughly: “We’ve looked into it and taken action. You don’t need to know anything more. Just trust us to do the right thing.”
Staff confidentiality has no place when people have died because of something those 16 people did or failed to do.
Patients go to a hospital to be cured, not to get an avoidable infection because staff were cavalier, or negligent, or inept.
Yes, hospital-acquired infections are unfortunately common, and people do catch them and die as a result. But this was not a case of an airborne bug which spreads easily.
This, according to the Independent Review Committee set up by the MOH, was likely due to “gaps in infection prevention and control practices”.
Doesn’the above sound like something from an anti-PAP blogger, not from a responsible reporter from the nation-building, constructive ST?
**She pointed out:
It bears repeating: 25 people were infected and seven deaths were possibly caused by the outbreak.
Tell us, was it caused by laziness, negligence or ineptitude – or something else altogether. Tell us also that this incident is viewed seriously by spelling out the actions taken.
If people are left with the impression that doctors and ministry officials get special protection no matter what they do, then confidence in the system will be badly eroded.
Can’t argue with her and her cyber-rat fans cheering her on.